March 29, 2020
Published on Friday 13 December, 2019
Lifestyle Solutions confirms that following an internal review of employment arrangements, we have made back payments, including interest and superannuation, to 124 current and former live-in and respite carers in our Out Of Home Care (OOHC) services in Western Australia, relating to the period from 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2018.
While this shouldn’t have happened, the underpayments occurred because we were not correctly calculating how the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award applies to the unique way OOHC services operate in Western Australia. This issue only applies to specialist primary live-in and respite carers who work across a 24-hour/7-day roster under the Western Australian Family Group Home Program (as distinct from foster carers in their home).
We have sincerely apologised to staff members who have been affected, including those no longer working for Lifestyle Solutions and have put in place measures to ensure this cannot happen again. We have assured our people that we would never knowingly under pay them and that we take our responsibilities to our staff, people we support and the community very seriously.
When we found the mistake, we reported ourselves to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), advised relevant government departments and alerted the Australian Services Union (ASU).
We have formally admitted to the FWO that these contraventions occurred and have entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the FWO (available at www.fairwork.gov.au) committing to a number of measures to remedy the contraventions, including committing to regular external audits and workplace training to ensure this does not happen again.
It has taken months of investigations to ensure that we have paid back amounts owing and that our systems are right going forward. During this time, we called in external payroll experts as well as the ASU to help us.
Most payments to affected staff took place last financial year and have been included in our annual reporting. We have made provision for payments this financial year and in the future.
Andrew Hyland Chief Executive Officer of Lifestyle Solutions said, “Our people are at the heart of what we do and we understand that in this case we have let them down. We unreservedly apologise and are committed to ensuring that this won’t happen again”.
If you are concerned you may have been affected and we have not contacted you, please contact us or the Fair Work Ombudsman, as set out in the notice on our website.